EDITORIAL: Time for Brizzi to heed calls to step down

 IBJ Staff
April 10, 2010
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IBJ Editorial

Carl Brizzi’s once-promising political career is coming to an end. He won’t become a mayor or a congressman or win election to any of the posts that seemed within his grasp when he was an up-and-coming Republican.

We say that with confidence not because anyone has charged him with a crime. It’s all about perception. He smeared himself by running in the same circles as financier Tim Durham, the ostentatious businessman who became Brizzi’s largest campaign contributor and now is the target of a federal securities-fraud probe.

And, as IBJ has chronicled in recent weeks, he cut deals—in business and in the Prosecutor’s Office—that raise questions about whether he put the potential for personal profit ahead of his responsibilities as Marion County prosecutor.

Brizzi, 41, now is dismissing calls for his resignation from leaders of both parties as “ridiculous.” But we join the chorus calling for him to step down and are incredulous that he’s trying to hang on until his second term concludes at year-end.

Consider what Brizzi himself wrote to supporters in December, as he was taking heat for his brief stint as a director of Fair Finance Co., an Akron, Ohio, firm co-owned by Durham that government investigators now suspect was a Ponzi scheme.

“As a public official, I am, understandably, held to a higher standard—and any association or action is subject to greater scrutiny,” Brizzi wrote.

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine an elected position in Indiana where impeccable ethics is more essential. As the top prosecutor in the state’s largest county, he has a tough job. His effectiveness is hindered if other players in the process—from deputy prosecutors and defense attorneys to defendants and sitting judges—perceive him as tainted by scandal.

To be sure, not everyone calling for Brizzi to step aside has the purest of motives. Republicans are eager to distance themselves from a politician with no political future. And Democrats are eager to use the controversies involving the prosecutor to cast doubt on the integrity of the entire GOP. The stakes are high as Democrats seek to return to the high-profile post for the first time in 16 years.

But this is more than a bunch of political posturing. Brizzi ruined his political career through his own bad judgment. Those lapses have hurt Brizzi’s ability to do his job—“to relentlessly pursue the bad guys,” as he likes to say. It’s time for him to stop putting his own interests ahead of the city’s and step down.

The Butler way

Butler University’s captivating NCAA tournament run was one of the most inspiring stories in college athletics in years.

The school graduates its players and plays basketball the right way—with tenacious defense and a true team philosophy.

The title game ended “just short of perfect,” as The Washington Post put it, with Gordon Hayward’s half-court shot rimming out, leaving Duke with a 61-59 victory.

“This was a game everyone will remember forever,” Post sports columnist John Feinstein wrote afterward.

“As corny as it might sound, no one lost this game. And the biggest winner wasn’t Duke—although the Blue Devils deserve all possible kudos for hanging on to win—it was the game of basketball.”•


  • from Hawaii arrest

    hahaha, don't worry Carl, this is tongue and cheek, but the Hawaii document's are in Russ's hands.....hahahahah
  • Scarey
    Wow, if Brizzi took money to provide cover for one's 'past' crimes, how much did he demand to provide cover for 'future' crimes; such as allowing a wealthy spouse to disappear and assuring a lack of prosecution. It would appear 'this' would have been an area greatly exploited by a man of Carl Brizzi's greed and ignorance. I believe they call it "conspiracy" and the conspiracies involves a LOT of people...Remember, we are dealing with the "PROSECUTORS OFFICE". The level of dealings contain factual scenerious very few of us see, and believe me they are INCREDIBLE and often extreme. Similar to the extreme behavior exhibited by not just Carl Brizzi, but the entire flock that belongs to the Marion County Republican Party and to some extent the State Party.

    Hoosiers have become so desensitized to the corruption in Indiana that the standards and bar has dropped extremely low and only REFORM activism followed by Legislative reform.

    Indiana = Tyranny
  • Sincerely
    The "sitting judge" clearly imports the judges Brizzi and his attorneys must present cases to, as opposed to retired judges, judges in Texas, John Paul Stevens, for instance.

    As an example, in today's paper there's a story about "sitting" Judge Eisgruber rejecting MCPO's argument for a 100 year sentence (made by the ineffective and equally ethically compromised David Wyser)for a murderer.

    Since Brizzi and Wyser have been all over the news, giving sweetheart deals to drug dealers and voluntarily reducing murderer's sentences shortly after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, this "sitting" judge simply disregarded MCPO's incredulousness and criticisms.

    Nixon once thought like Brizzi did too.
  • really?
    You are really going out on a limb here. Carlito Brizzi isn't going anywhere, and this bandwagon blather does nothing to change that. Why not continue down the investigation path and see where Carlito and Lil Mitch share some secret doings?

    By the way, what is the difference between a "sitting Judge" and any other Judge? maybe next time have a lawyer review your ramblings.

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...